Diseases of Small Ruminants

A topical collection in Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This collection belongs to the section "Small Ruminants".

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Editor


E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food, 10438 Athens, Greece
Interests: veterinary medicine; mastitis; animal behaviour

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

In small ruminants (sheep, goats), diseases and health problems contribute to reduced production, meat, milk, and wool, thus entailing various adverse financial impacts. Further, they also affect animal welfare and can potentially raise significant public health issues.

Small ruminant health management is a recognized veterinary specialty, which includes husbandry, internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics, and reproductive management, as they relate to the epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, therapy, prevention, and control of diseases, directly or indirectly affecting small ruminants.

Research and clinical work in the field of small ruminant health management and diseases contribute to scientific progress and innovation, aiming to minimize risks and losses, optimize production, and improve small ruminant welfare.

This Topic Collection will cover all aspects of small ruminant diseases and health management, including but not limited to welfare, husbandry, epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and control aspects. Papers dealing with the topic in a ‘One Health’ approach are particularly welcome. The collection will include systematic and opinionated reviews, as well as original manuscripts describing field, laboratory, or animal experimental work. Clinical reports are also welcome if they present original problems.

Dr. Ilektra A. Fragkou
Collection Editor

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Keywords

  • small ruminants
  • diseases
  • production
  • public health
  • health management
  • welfare

Published Papers (28 papers)

2024

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020

9 pages, 258 KiB  
Brief Report
Comparison of Direct and Indirect Detection of Toxoplasma gondii in Ovine Using Real-Time PCR, Serological and Histological Techniques
by Roberto Condoleo, Davide Santori, Erminia Sezzi, Salvatore Serra, Sara Tonon, Claudia Eleni, Antonio Bosco, Lucy Nicole Papa Caminiti and Maria Francesca Iulietto
Animals 2024, 14(10), 1432; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14101432 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 532
Abstract
Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic pathogen and the ingestion of tissue cysts by consumption of lamb or mutton has been identified as a possible cause of infection in humans. Many serological surveys in sheep have been performed, showing relevant serological rates; however, while [...] Read more.
Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic pathogen and the ingestion of tissue cysts by consumption of lamb or mutton has been identified as a possible cause of infection in humans. Many serological surveys in sheep have been performed, showing relevant serological rates; however, while the detection of antibodies indicates an exposure to T. gondii, this does not necessarily imply the presence of tissue cysts in edible tissue. The current study aims to provide further understanding on the occurrence of T. gondii in sheep muscles and the strength of correlation between serological positivity and presence of the parasite in sheep. From 349 sheep, samples (i.e., blood, heart and diaphragm) were collected and subjected to ELISA tests, real-time PCR and histological tests. Despite the high seroprevalence, T. gondii DNA was detected in the heart and/or the diaphragm from 13 out of the 349 tested sheep (3.7%); all were adults (13/191). Furthermore, the histological tests did not reveal the presence of T. gondii tissue cysts in any of the examined portions of interventricular septum. It should be considered that the likelihood of detecting genetic material of the parasite is probably influenced by the uneven distribution of the tissue cysts in the carcass as well as the methodology applied. The findings of this study support the importance of describing the uncertainty associated with the data used for risk assessment to reduce inaccurate estimation or risk overestimation. Full article
12 pages, 1409 KiB  
Article
Repeated Cross-Sectional Survey of Ectoparasites in Sheep from Central Tunisia: Does Low Prevalence Indicate Good Hygiene or Resistance to Ectoparasites?
by Khawla Elati, Nesrine Daly, Mokhtar Dhibi, Hela Laaribi, Mourad Rekik and Mohamed Gharbi
Animals 2024, 14(5), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14050801 - 4 Mar 2024
Viewed by 649
Abstract
Sheep ectoparasites such as chewing lice, fleas and ticks are serious constraints to sheep productivity and are the cause of skin lesions in animals that decrease their market value. This study aims at investigating the ectoparasite fauna infesting small ruminants in the district [...] Read more.
Sheep ectoparasites such as chewing lice, fleas and ticks are serious constraints to sheep productivity and are the cause of skin lesions in animals that decrease their market value. This study aims at investigating the ectoparasite fauna infesting small ruminants in the district of Sidi Bouzid (central Tunisia). A total of 1243 Barbarine and Queue Fine de l’Ouest (QFO) sheep were examined every two months for one year. Of the total animals examined, 74 were infested by at least 1 parasite group (5.95%). Three ectoparasite groups were identified as Psoroptes ovis (0.48%; 6/1243), ticks (5.3%; n = 66/1243) and one specimen of Ctenocephalides canis (0.08%; n = 1/1243). The most abundant tick among the 358 specimens was Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (n = 337; 94.1%), followed by Hyalomma impeltatum (n = 7/358; 1.9%), H. dromedarii (n = 7/358; 1.9%), H. excavatum (n = 5/358; 1.4%) and only two specimens of H. scupense (n = 2/358; 0.55%). The sheep herds showed low infestation prevalence by ectoparasite over the year, with a significant difference according to the seasons (p < 0.05). A higher infestation prevalence was recorded in March (14.36%). Barbarine sheep breed showed significantly higher infestation prevalence (16.8%) compared to QFO (0.8%) (p < 0.01). There were no differences in infestation prevalence according to sex of the animal or age groups. Knowledge of the ectoparasite population harboured by sheep, its activity dynamics and risk factors is required to develop effective ectoparasite control options. The low prevalence of ectoparasite infestation in sheep reported here may be due to possible genetic resistance or simply to successful hygiene measures implemented by farmers. Full article
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2023

Jump to: 2024, 2022, 2021, 2020

7 pages, 1841 KiB  
Communication
Correspondence of Somatic Cell Counts in Bulk-Tank Milk to Prevalence of Subclinical Mastitis in Sheep Flocks
by George C. Fthenakis
Animals 2023, 13(22), 3541; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13223541 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 641
Abstract
The objective of the present study was to propose thresholds of somatic cell counts in bulk-tank milk indicative of the prevalence of subclinical mastitis in a flock. A retrospective analysis was performed on data from a longitudinal survey of subclinical mastitis in Greece, [...] Read more.
The objective of the present study was to propose thresholds of somatic cell counts in bulk-tank milk indicative of the prevalence of subclinical mastitis in a flock. A retrospective analysis was performed on data from a longitudinal survey of subclinical mastitis in Greece, in which the prevalence of subclinical mastitis in 12 flocks sampled four times throughout a milking period was evaluated by collecting milk samples from individual ewes for bacteriological and cytological testing; further, cell counts in the bulk-tanks of the farms were also measured during the visits. Four cohorts were created: A, with cell counts in the bulk-tank milk between 0.100 × 106 and 0.400 × 106 cells mL−1, B, with cell counts between 0.400 × 106 and 650 × 106 cells mL−1, C, with cell counts between 0.650 × 106 and 900 × 106 cells mL−1, and D, with SCC between 0.900 × 106 and 1.450 × 106 cells mL−1. There was a significant positive correlation between prevalence of the infection in the flocks and somatic cell counts in bulk-tank milk on the same sampling occasion (p < 0.0001). There was also evidence of significant differences between the four cohorts in the mean prevalence rate of the infection (p < 0.0001). Ninety-five percent confidence intervals of the prevalence of subclinical mastitis according to the somatic cell counts in the bulk-tank milk were calculated as follows: for cohort A, 8.7% to 12.1%, for B, 12.4% to 19.4%, for C, 22.5% to 30.8% and for D, 27.3% to 45.3%. The information that may be thus obtained can be useful in guiding the implementation of various health management procedures for mastitis control in sheep flocks, with no need to perform milk sample collection from ewes and subsequent laboratory examinations. Full article
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16 pages, 2201 KiB  
Article
Longitudinal Study of Subclinical Mastitis in Sheep in Greece: An Investigation into Incidence Risk, Associations with Milk Quality and Risk Factors of the Infection
by Charalambia K. Michael, Daphne T. Lianou, Natalia G. C. Vasileiou, Vasia S. Mavrogianni, Efthymia Petinaki and George C. Fthenakis
Animals 2023, 13(20), 3295; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13203295 - 22 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1247
Abstract
The objectives of this work were (a) to describe the incidence risk of subclinical mastitis in dairy flocks throughout the milking period, (b) to present potential associations of subclinical mastitis with the quality of milk and (c) to identify risk factors for high-incidence [...] Read more.
The objectives of this work were (a) to describe the incidence risk of subclinical mastitis in dairy flocks throughout the milking period, (b) to present potential associations of subclinical mastitis with the quality of milk and (c) to identify risk factors for high-incidence risk of the infection. A longitudinal study was performed in 12 dairy sheep flocks in Greece. Mammary secretion samples from 240 ewes and bulk-tank milk samples were collected in four repeated visits over a period of six months for bacteriological, chemical and cytological examinations. Overall, the incidence risk of subclinical mastitis throughout the study period was 51.7%, and it varied among farms from 25.0% to 75.0%. The respective figure for staphylococcal subclinical mastitis was 48.8%. The incidence risk of recurrence of subclinical mastitis among ewes in the flocks was 35.4%. The most frequently identified bacteria from cases of subclinical mastitis were S. aureus and S. simulans; of the mastitis-causing staphylococcal isolates, 65.4% were biofilm-forming. Somatic cell counts in bulk-tank milk progressively increased as the lactation period advanced, with significant increases seen on the third and fourth visits to the farms. Somatic cell counts in bulk-tank milk correlated well with prevalence of subclinical mastitis in flocks. A significant inverse correlation and a significant positive correlation were seen for prevalence of subclinical mastitis versus total protein content or added water in bulk-tank milk. During multivariable analysis, younger age of newborns when taken away from the dam and consequently delayed start of milking of ewes, omission of anti-mastitis vaccination of ewes and lack of employed staff on the farms emerged to be significantly associated (positively) with increased incidence risk of subclinical mastitis. Full article
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16 pages, 905 KiB  
Article
Correlation of Faecal Egg Counts with Clinical Parameters and Agreement between Different Raters Assessing FAMACHA©, BCS and Dag Score in Austrian Dairy Sheep
by Floriana Sajovitz, Isabella Adduci, Shi Yan, Sandra Wiedermann, Alexander Tichy, Anja Joachim, Thomas Wittek, Barbara Hinney and Katharina Lichtmannsperger
Animals 2023, 13(20), 3206; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13203206 - 13 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1509
Abstract
Gastrointestinal nematodes, most notably trichostrongylids, are known to cause significant losses in sheep production. Previous studies have shown that monitoring parameters (e.g., FAMACHA©, BCS, dag score) change with increasing egg excretion. These parameters are well known and frequently used for targeted selective treatment. [...] Read more.
Gastrointestinal nematodes, most notably trichostrongylids, are known to cause significant losses in sheep production. Previous studies have shown that monitoring parameters (e.g., FAMACHA©, BCS, dag score) change with increasing egg excretion. These parameters are well known and frequently used for targeted selective treatment. Based on the willingness to participate in this study (based on a previous questionnaire distribution among sheep farmers in Austria) we investigated the associations between faecal egg counts and the FAMACHA©, BCS, and dag scores of 1195 dairy ewes. Faecal samples were analysed using the Mini-FLOTAC technique I and larval culture. Three raters assessed the FAMACHA©, BCS, and dag scores in sheep to calculate the inter-rater agreement and intraclass correlation coefficient. The responses to the questionnaire of 23 farms were used for the evaluation, of which 16 farms were visited. Trichostrongylid eggs were detected in 95% of the faecal samples. The BCS was negatively correlated with the eggs per gram of faeces (EpG) (r = −0.156; p < 0.001) and the FAMACHA© score was slightly positively correlated with EpG (r = 0.196; p < 0.001). A small proportion of sheep (25%) shed the majority of eggs (47% to 84%). A moderate to good agreement for the parameters was found between the raters. In conclusion, the clinical parameters showed only weak correlations with faecal egg counts, and we confirmed that a minority of the flock is responsible for the majority of the pasture contamination with trichostrongylid eggs. Clinical raters should be trained before a study to increase the agreement between them. Full article
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12 pages, 1373 KiB  
Communication
Irregular Findings on Teatcups in Milking Parlours in Sheep and Goat Farms and Potential Predictors
by Charalambia K. Michael, Daphne T. Lianou, Vasia S. Mavrogianni, Efthymia Petinaki and George C. Fthenakis
Animals 2023, 13(19), 3004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13193004 - 23 Sep 2023
Viewed by 686
Abstract
The objectives of the present study were as follows: (a) to describe the prevalence of irregular findings on teatcups in milking parlours with dairy sheep and goats after the post-milking cleaning procedures had been completed, (b) to associate staphylococcal isolation from teatcups with [...] Read more.
The objectives of the present study were as follows: (a) to describe the prevalence of irregular findings on teatcups in milking parlours with dairy sheep and goats after the post-milking cleaning procedures had been completed, (b) to associate staphylococcal isolation from teatcups with the presence with irregular findings and (c) to identify predictors of the presence of irregular findings on teatcups. The teatcups in the milking parlour of 255 sheep and 66 goat farms were macroscopically evaluated for the presence of irregular findings immediately after the completion of cleaning of the parlour. In total, 1115 and 303 teatcups, respectively, were assessed. A detailed interview with the farmer served to record the characteristics of the milking parlour and obtain information about husbandry and health management variables in the farm. Teatcups with macroscopically evident irregular findings were observed in 150 milking parlours (46.7%). Overall, 593 teatcups (41.8%) were found with macroscopically evident irregular findings. Dirt, milk residues and cracks or tears were recorded in the teatcups of 90.0%, 36.0% and 12.7% of parlours with irregular findings. Staphylococci were more frequently isolated from teatcups with irregular findings than from undamaged ones: from 37.4% (222/593) versus 12.8% (106/825). They were more frequently isolated from teatcups with milk residues (39.4%) and teatcups with dirt (39.0%). Via multivariable analysis, the following three variables emerged as significant predictors of presence of teatcups with irregular findings: the daily number of milking sessions, month into the lactation period at sampling and number of available milking units per animal position. The study provides, for the first time internationally, an appraisal of the frequency of problematic teatcups in the milking parlours of small ruminant farms. The analysis of predictors has provided a focus for specific management aspects, where interventions need to be performed, in order to improve the situation in farms with problems. The consequent increased staphylococcal burden on teatcups with irregular findings points to the increased risk of intramammary infections in such cases. Full article
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12 pages, 1854 KiB  
Article
Efficacy and Safety of Neem Oil for the Topical Treatment of Bloodsucking Lice Linognathus stenopsis in Goats under Field Conditions
by Alessio Cotticelli, Roberta Matera, Nadia Piscopo, Antonio Bosco, Salvatore Claps, Paola Del Serrone, Aloma Zoratti, Elisa Castaldo, Vincenzo Veneziano, Domenico Rufrano, Gianluca Neglia and Francesco Buono
Animals 2023, 13(15), 2541; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13152541 - 7 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1229
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of neem oil on caprine pediculosis and on kids’ growth performances. The neem (Azadirachta indica) belongs to the Meliaceae family, and in Eastern countries it is mainly considered [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of neem oil on caprine pediculosis and on kids’ growth performances. The neem (Azadirachta indica) belongs to the Meliaceae family, and in Eastern countries it is mainly considered for the insecticidal activities of the kernel oil. The neem seeds contain bioactive principles, such as azadirachtin A, salannin, nimbin, and nimbolide. The trial was carried out on 24 kids, 120 days old, maintained in open yards. Animals were divided in 4 homogeneous groups (n = 6 animals/group) based on age, louse count, body condition score (BCS) and live body weight: Control Group (C, saline NaCl, 0.9%), Neem Group 1 (NO-100, 100 mL of neem oil per 10 kg), Neem Group 2 (NO-200, 200 mL/10 kg), Neem Group 3 (NO-300, 300 mL/10 kg). The treatments were performed by spraying the insecticide on the goat’s body. The study lasted 56 days, and weekly, the kids underwent louse count, BCS and body weight determination, and FAMACHA score. Data were analyzed by ANOVA for repeated measures. The species of lice identified was Linognathus stenopsis. Kids belonging to NO-200 and NO-300 showed a stronger reduction of louse count throughout the study (>95%). The daily weight gain recorded was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in NO-300 than C. No differences were found for BCS and FAMACHA scores. The results of this trial showed that the administration of neem oil to control caprine pediculosis caused by sucking lice represents an alternative to synthetic compounds. Full article
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11 pages, 701 KiB  
Article
Automatically Identifying Sickness Behavior in Grazing Lambs with an Acceleration Sensor
by Bowen Fan, Racheal H. Bryant and Andrew W. Greer
Animals 2023, 13(13), 2086; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13132086 - 23 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 996
Abstract
Acute disease of grazing animals can lead to alterations in behavioral patterns. Relatively recent advances in accelerometer technology have resulted in commercial products, which can be used to remotely detect changes in animals’ behavior, the pattern and extent of which may provide an [...] Read more.
Acute disease of grazing animals can lead to alterations in behavioral patterns. Relatively recent advances in accelerometer technology have resulted in commercial products, which can be used to remotely detect changes in animals’ behavior, the pattern and extent of which may provide an indicator of disease challenge and animal health status. The objective of this study was to determine if changes in behavior during use of a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge model can be detected using ear-mounted accelerometers in grazing lambs. LPS infusion elevated rectal temperatures from 39.31 °C to 39.95 °C, indicating successful establishment of an acute fever response for comparison with groups (p < 0.001). For each of the five recorded behaviors, time spent eating, ruminating, not active, active, and highly active, the accelerometers were able to detect an effect of LPS challenge. Compared with the control, there were significant effects of LPS infusion by hour interaction on durations of eating (−6.71 min/h, p < 0.001), inactive behavior (+16.00 min/h, p < 0.001), active behavior (−8.39 min/h, p < 0.001), and highly active behavior (−2.90 min/h, p < 0.001) with a trend for rumination time (−1.41 min/h, p = 0.075) in lambs after a single LPS infusion. Results suggest that current sensors have the capability to correctly identify behaviors of grazing lambs, raising the possibility of detecting changes in animals’ health status. Full article
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6 pages, 1068 KiB  
Communication
The Spread of Peste Des Petits Ruminants Virus Lineage IV in West Africa
by Emmanuel Couacy-Hymann, Kouramoudou Berete, Theophilus Odoom, Lamouni Habibata Zerbo, Koffi Yao Mathurin, Valère Kouame Kouakou, Mohamed Idriss Doumbouya, Aminata Balde, Patrick Tetteh Ababio, Lalidia Bruno Ouoba, Dominique Guigma, Adama Dji-tombo Drobo, Mariétou Guitti, Sherry Ama Mawuko Johnson, David Livingstone Mawuko Blavo, Giovanni Cattoli, Charles E. Lamien and William G. Dundon
Animals 2023, 13(7), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13071268 - 6 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1512
Abstract
Monitoring the transboundary spread of peste des petits ruminants (PPR) virus is an essential part of the global efforts towards the eradication of PPR by 2030. There is growing evidence that Lineage IV is becoming the predominant viral lineage, replacing Lineage I and [...] Read more.
Monitoring the transboundary spread of peste des petits ruminants (PPR) virus is an essential part of the global efforts towards the eradication of PPR by 2030. There is growing evidence that Lineage IV is becoming the predominant viral lineage, replacing Lineage I and II in West Africa. As part of a regional investigation, samples collected in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Ghana were screened for the presence of PPRV. A segment of the nucleoprotein gene from positive samples was sequenced, and phylogenetic analysis revealed the co-circulation of Lineage II and IV in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, and the identification of Lineage IV in Ghana. These data will be of importance to local and regional authorities involved in the management of PPRV spread. Full article
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11 pages, 918 KiB  
Article
Classification Performance of Machine Learning Methods for Identifying Resistance, Resilience, and Susceptibility to Haemonchus contortus Infections in Sheep
by Luara A. Freitas, Rodrigo P. Savegnago, Anderson A. C. Alves, Ricardo L. D. Costa, Danisio P. Munari, Nedenia B. Stafuzza, Guilherme J. M. Rosa and Claudia C. P. Paz
Animals 2023, 13(3), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13030374 - 21 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1642
Abstract
This study investigated the feasibility of using easy-to-measure phenotypic traits to predict sheep resistant, resilient, and susceptible to gastrointestinal nematodes, compared the classification performance of multinomial logistic regression (MLR), linear discriminant analysis (LDA), random forest (RF), and artificial neural network (ANN) methods, and [...] Read more.
This study investigated the feasibility of using easy-to-measure phenotypic traits to predict sheep resistant, resilient, and susceptible to gastrointestinal nematodes, compared the classification performance of multinomial logistic regression (MLR), linear discriminant analysis (LDA), random forest (RF), and artificial neural network (ANN) methods, and evaluated the applicability of the best classification model on each farm. The database comprised 3654 records of 1250 Santa Inês sheep from 6 farms. The animals were classified into resistant (2605 records), resilient (939 records), and susceptible (110 records) according to fecal egg count and packed cell volume. A random oversampling method was performed to balance the dataset. The classification methods were fitted using the information of age class, the month of record, farm, sex, Famacha© degree, body weight, and body condition score as predictors, and the resistance, resilience, and susceptibility to gastrointestinal nematodes as the target classes to be predicted considering data from all farms randomly. An additional leave-one-farm-out cross-validation technique was used to assess prediction quality across farms. The MLR and LDA models presented good performances in predicting susceptible and resistant animals. The results suggest that the use of readily available records and easily measurable traits may provide useful information for supporting management decisions at the farm level. Full article
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18 pages, 8896 KiB  
Article
Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis: Association with Proinflammatory Cytokines in Caseous Lymphadenitis Pyogranulomas
by Helmy A. Torky, Hebatallah M. Saad, Samy A. Khaliel, Asmaa T. Kassih, Jean-Marc Sabatier, Gaber El-Saber Batiha, Helal F. Hetta, Eman M. Elghazaly and Michel De Waard
Animals 2023, 13(2), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13020296 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3337
Abstract
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis (C. pseudotuberculosis) is a causative agent of numerous chronic diseases, including caseous lymphadenitis (CLA) in sheep and goats, which has a zoonotic potential in humans in addition to a poor therapeutic response. In this study, out of 120 collected samples, only [...] Read more.
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis (C. pseudotuberculosis) is a causative agent of numerous chronic diseases, including caseous lymphadenitis (CLA) in sheep and goats, which has a zoonotic potential in humans in addition to a poor therapeutic response. In this study, out of 120 collected samples, only 12 (10%) were positive for C. pseudotuberculosis by PCR and by intraperitoneal injection of male Guinea pigs and then characterized for antimicrobial susceptibility and its genetic-relatedness by enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus polymerase chain reaction (ERIC-PCR), which showed 2–4 bands ranging from 100 to 3000 bp that can be clustered into four clusters (C1–C4). Despite the serotype biovar 1 only infecting sheep and goats, ERIC–PCR reveals intra-subtyping variation. Examination of affected LNs and organs revealed marked enlargement with either thick creamy green pus or multiple abscesses of variable sizes with a central caseated core surrounded by dense fibrous capsule. A histopathological examination revealed a central necrotic core surrounded by a peripheral mantle of mononuclear cells and a fibrous capsule. Positive immune expression of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB/p65) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and negative expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in CLA is the first report to our knowledge. Conclusion: In CLA pyogranulomas, IL1β is a more crucial proinflammatory cytokine than TNF in the regulation of C. pseudotuberculosis infection, which is accompanied by marked NF-κB immunoexpression. Therefore, the NF-κB/p65 signaling pathway is involved in the activation of IL1β, and additional immunohistochemical studies are required to determine the various roles of NF-κB/p65 in the inflammatory response within CLA pyogranulomas to control this pathogen. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2024, 2023, 2021, 2020

17 pages, 1605 KiB  
Article
Patterns of Reproductive Management in Sheep and Goat Farms in Greece
by Daphne T. Lianou, Natalia G. C. Vasileiou, Charalambia K. Michael, Irene Valasi, Vasia S. Mavrogianni, Mariangela Caroprese and George C. Fthenakis
Animals 2022, 12(24), 3455; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12243455 - 7 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1626
Abstract
This paper reports findings regarding patterns of reproductive management in 325 sheep flocks and 119 goat herds throughout Greece. The objectives were to describe the patterns of reproductive management in sheep and goat farms, to highlight factors that were associated with these management [...] Read more.
This paper reports findings regarding patterns of reproductive management in 325 sheep flocks and 119 goat herds throughout Greece. The objectives were to describe the patterns of reproductive management in sheep and goat farms, to highlight factors that were associated with these management patterns and the clinical application of the various reproductive management approaches in the farms and to establish potential associations with production outcomes. The median months of the start of the mating period for adult sheep and goats were May and June, respectively and for ewe lambs and replacement goats these were August and September, respectively. The median duration of the mating period was 2 months for adults and 1 month for replacements. The median ratio of female to male animals was 22:1 and 25:1 in sheep and goat farms, respectively. Control of reproduction was applied in 33.2% and 16.8% of sheep and goat farms, respectively, mostly by intravaginal progestagen sponges and less often by melatonin implants; multivariable analysis indicated five (availability of milking parlour, number of ewes in a farm, number of daily milkings, daily period spent by farmers at the farm, farming tradition in the family) and two (number of daily milkings, availability of milking parlour) predictors in sheep and goat farms, respectively. Pregnancy diagnosis ultrasonographically was performed in 36.6% and 16.8% of sheep and goat farms, respectively; multivariable analysis indicated as significant three (management system applied in farms, age of farmer, farming tradition in the family) and two (management system applied in farms, availability of milking parlour) predictors in sheep and goat farms, respectively. The control of reproduction and pregnancy diagnosis were associated with a higher number of vaccinations during pregnancy: 2.6 and 2.7, respectively, versus 2.2 and 2.1 in farms where they were not performed. The average per farm number of lambs/kids born per female animal was 1.33 ± 0.01 and 1.30 ± 0.02 for sheep and goat farms, respectively; five (control of reproduction, location of the farm, presence of working staff, collaboration with veterinary practice, breed of ewes) and two (control of reproduction, breed of female goats) predictors were identified in sheep and goat farms, respectively, for high numbers of lambs/kids. Lambs/kids were taken away from their dams at the age of 50 and 65 days, respectively. The average culling age (females, males) was 5.9 and 4.4 years and 6.9 and 4.9 years for sheep and goats, respectively. Farmers sourced animals to be used as replacements for those removed from the farm, mostly from the animals in their own farms, considering criteria related to milk production. Finally, the application of the control of reproduction was associated with increased milk production and the number of newborns, whilst an inverse correlation between the culling age of animals and milk production was seen. Full article
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12 pages, 477 KiB  
Article
Seroprevalence of Specific Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, and Brucella spp. in Sheep and Goats in Egypt
by Ragab M. Fereig, Gamal Wareth, Hanan H. Abdelbaky, Amira M. Mazeed, Mohamed El-Diasty, Adel Abdelkhalek, Hassan Y. A. H. Mahmoud, Alsagher O. Ali, Abdelrahman El-tayeb, Abdullah F. Alsayeqh and Caroline F. Frey
Animals 2022, 12(23), 3327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12233327 - 28 Nov 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1690
Abstract
Toxoplasmosis, neosporosis, and brucellosis are devastating diseases causing infectious abortion and, therefore, substantial economic losses in farm animals. Toxoplasmosis and neosporosis are caused by the intracellular protozoan parasites Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) and Neospora caninum (N. caninum), respectively. Brucellosis [...] Read more.
Toxoplasmosis, neosporosis, and brucellosis are devastating diseases causing infectious abortion and, therefore, substantial economic losses in farm animals. Toxoplasmosis and neosporosis are caused by the intracellular protozoan parasites Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) and Neospora caninum (N. caninum), respectively. Brucellosis is a bacterial disease caused by numerous Brucella species in multiple hosts. Toxoplasmosis and brucellosis are also considered foodborne zoonotic diseases. In the current study, specific antibodies to T. gondii and N. caninum, in addition to those to Brucella spp., were detected to gain a better understanding of the epidemiological situation for these three pathogens. Sheep and goat sera from Egypt (n = 360) of animals with and without a history of abortion were tested using commercial ELISAs. Seropositivity rates of 46.1%, 11.9%, and 8.6% for T. gondii, N. caninum, and Brucella spp., respectively, were revealed. Mixed infections with T. gondii and Brucella spp. (4.4%), T. gondii and N. caninum (4.2%), N. caninum and Brucella spp. (1.4%), and even some triple infections (0.6%) have been observed. Animals with a history of abortion had a significantly higher seroprevalence for Brucella spp. infection than those without abortion (12.6%; 28/222 vs. 2.2%; 3/138) (p = 0.0005; Odds ratio = 1.9–21.8), while none of the other pathogens showed a similar effect. This result suggests brucellosis as a possible cause of abortion in the study population. However, the high seroprevalence for T. gondii and N. caninum revealed in our study warrants further investigations. Full article
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8 pages, 1573 KiB  
Article
First Report on Ovine Paratuberculosis in the Sudan: Diagnosis Using Different Techniques
by Sanaa M. Idris, Eva A. Ali, Wisal A. Elmagzoub, Julius B. Okuni, Mohamed E. Mukhtar, Lonzy Ojok, ElSagad Eltayeb, Ahmed Abd El Wahed, Kamal H. Eltom and Ahmed A. Gameel
Animals 2022, 12(23), 3312; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12233312 - 27 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1513
Abstract
Paratuberculosis (PTB) has been reported in the Sudan in cattle and goats for more than 50 years but has never been reported in sheep. However, suspicion of the disease in a breeding flock of sheep in Khartoum North locality was made due to [...] Read more.
Paratuberculosis (PTB) has been reported in the Sudan in cattle and goats for more than 50 years but has never been reported in sheep. However, suspicion of the disease in a breeding flock of sheep in Khartoum North locality was made due to a history of unknown cause of loss of weight. Blood and faecal samples were collected from all animals (N = 59): harvested sera were tested for anti-Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) antibodies by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA); faeces were screened for acid-fast bacilli by Ziehl–Neelsen staining, tested for MAP DNA by recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) and some faecal samples were cultured for MAP isolation. Typical MAP acid-fast bacilli were seen in 10.2% (6/59) of the faecal smears, 37.5% of the tested faecal samples (12/32) were positive for MAP DNA and only 3 (5.1%) animals were seropositive for MAP. MAP positive cultures were obtained from 2 out the 6 samples showing typical MAP acid-fast bacilli; the isolates were confirmed by real-time PCR and sequencing. As sheep are animals of utmost economic importance as the main export animals for the country, this first report of ovine PTB warrants special considerations and more investigations for planning control programmes of the disease. Full article
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14 pages, 1733 KiB  
Communication
Scientometrics Study of Research Output on Sheep and Goats from Greece
by Daphne T. Lianou and George C. Fthenakis
Animals 2022, 12(19), 2666; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12192666 - 4 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1360
Abstract
The study is a scientometrics evaluation of published articles performed in Greece on sheep and goats during the last 25 years, a period coinciding with implementation of reforms to shape and consolidate tertiary education and research establishments in the country. Objectives were: evaluation [...] Read more.
The study is a scientometrics evaluation of published articles performed in Greece on sheep and goats during the last 25 years, a period coinciding with implementation of reforms to shape and consolidate tertiary education and research establishments in the country. Objectives were: evaluation of the relevant publications and presentation of quantitative characteristics regarding scientific content and bibliometric details. The Web of Science platform was used (search terms: [[sheep OR goat*] OR [Ovis aries OR Capra hircus]] (1997–2022)) and 1080 papers were considered in detail. Throughout the study period, there was a clear progressive increase in numbers of papers published. The papers originated from 39 different entities, most from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (34.0%), University of Thessaly (28.0%), Agricultural University of Athens (21.2%) and Hellenic Agricultural Organization—Dimitra (13.6%). Papers were published in 318 different journals. Journals with more published papers were Small Ruminant Research and Journal of the Hellenic Veterinary Medical Society. The most frequent general topic of study in the papers was health and welfare (46.7% of papers); second most frequent topic was animal products (18.6%). The papers have received 16,558 citations, i.e., οn average 15.4 citations per paper; the h-index was 56, the i10-index was 518 and the yearly citations per paper were 1.71. Papers on goats had higher impact than papers on sheep. There were 1711 individual authors, of which 728 were first or last authors. In total, 24 authors have each co-authored ≥2.5% of all papers; five authors were each first or last in that proportion of all papers. The findings have indicated that relevant research has focused on milk production and diseases of the udder of small ruminants; moreover, there was accumulation of relevant research in Greece in some establishments only. The findings of the study can be employed to initiate improved relevant research approaches in the country. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2024, 2023, 2022, 2020

20 pages, 3139 KiB  
Review
Scrapie at Abattoir: Monitoring, Control, and Differential Diagnosis of Wasting Conditions during Meat Inspection
by Alexandra Esteves, Madalena Vieira-Pinto, Hélder Quintas, Leonor Orge, Adelina Gama, Anabela Alves, Fernanda Seixas, Isabel Pires, Maria de Lurdes Pinto, Ana Paula Mendonça, Carla Lima, Carla Neves Machado, João Carlos Silva, Paula Tavares, Filipe Silva, Estela Bastos, Jorge Pereira, Nuno Gonçalves-Anjo, Paulo Carvalho, Roberto Sargo, Ana Matos, Luís Figueira and Maria dos Anjos Piresadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3028; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113028 - 21 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3817
Abstract
Wasting disease in small ruminants is frequently detected at slaughterhouses. The wasting disorder is manifested by the deterioration of the nutritional and physiological state of the animal indicated by thinness, emaciation, and cachexia. Evidence of emaciation and cachexia, alone, are pathological conditions leading [...] Read more.
Wasting disease in small ruminants is frequently detected at slaughterhouses. The wasting disorder is manifested by the deterioration of the nutritional and physiological state of the animal indicated by thinness, emaciation, and cachexia. Evidence of emaciation and cachexia, alone, are pathological conditions leading to carcass condemnation during an inspection. Several diseases are associated with a wasting condition, including scrapie, pseudotuberculosis, tuberculosis, paratuberculosis, Maedi Visna, and tumor diseases. On the other hand, parasitic diseases, nutrition disorders, exposure or ingestion of toxins, metabolic conditions, inadequate nutrition due to poor teeth, or poor alimentary diet are conditions contributing to poor body condition. Classical and atypical scrapie is naturally occurring transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in small ruminants. The etiological agent for each one is prions. However, each of these scrapie types is epidemiologically, pathologically, and biochemically different. Though atypical scrapie occurs at low incidence, it is consistently prevalent in the small ruminant population. Hence, it is advisable to include differential diagnosis of this disease, from other possibilities, as a cause of wasting conditions detected during meat inspection at the abattoir. This manuscript is a review of the measures in force at the abattoir for scrapie control, focusing on the differential diagnosis of gross lesions related to wasting conditions detected in small ruminants during meat inspection. Full article
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13 pages, 1354 KiB  
Article
Seroprevalence and Risk Factors of Anaplasma spp. in German Small Ruminant Flocks
by Wiebke Rubel, Clara Schoneberg, Annika Wolf, Martin Ganter and Benjamin Ulrich Bauer
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2793; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102793 - 25 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2662
Abstract
Knowledge about the distribution of Anaplasma spp. in small ruminants from Germany is limited. Therefore, serum samples were examined from 71 small ruminant flocks (2731 sheep, 447 goats) located in the five German federal states: Schleswig-Holstein (SH), Lower Saxony (LS), North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), [...] Read more.
Knowledge about the distribution of Anaplasma spp. in small ruminants from Germany is limited. Therefore, serum samples were examined from 71 small ruminant flocks (2731 sheep, 447 goats) located in the five German federal states: Schleswig-Holstein (SH), Lower Saxony (LS), North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Baden-Wuerttemberg (BW) and Bavaria (BAV). Antibodies to Anaplasma spp. were determined by a cELISA based on the MSP5 antigen. A risk factor analysis at animal and flock level was also performed. Antibodies to Anaplasma spp. were detected in 70/71 flocks without significant difference in the intra-flock prevalence (IFP) between the federal states. The mean antibody levels from sheep were significantly lower in northern Germany (LS, SH) compared to west (NRW) and south Germany (BW, BAV). Sheep had a 2.5-fold higher risk of being seropositive than goats. Females and older animals (>2 years) were more likely to have antibodies to Anaplasma spp. in one third and one quarter of cases, respectively. Flocks used for landscape conservation had a five times higher risk of acquiring an IFP greater than 20%. Cats and dogs on the farms increased the probability for small ruminant flocks to have an IFP of above 20% 10-fold and 166-fold, respectively. Further studies are necessary to assess the impact of Anaplasma species on the health of small ruminants in Germany. Full article
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15 pages, 343 KiB  
Review
Potential Novel Biomarkers for Mastitis Diagnosis in Sheep
by Kacper Libera, Kacper Konieczny, Julia Grabska, Sebastian Smulski, Izabela Szczerbal, Małgorzata Szumacher-Strabel and Małgorzata Pomorska-Mól
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2783; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102783 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3242
Abstract
This review aims to characterize promising novel markers of ovine mastitis. Mastitis is considered as one of the primary factors for premature culling in dairy sheep and has noticeable financial, productional, and animal welfare-related implications. Furthermore, clinical, and subclinical mammary infections negatively affect [...] Read more.
This review aims to characterize promising novel markers of ovine mastitis. Mastitis is considered as one of the primary factors for premature culling in dairy sheep and has noticeable financial, productional, and animal welfare-related implications. Furthermore, clinical, and subclinical mammary infections negatively affect milk yield and alter the milk composition, thereby leading to lowered quality of dairy products. It is, therefore, crucial to control and prevent mastitis through proper diagnosis, treatment or culling, and appropriate udder health management particularly at the end of the lactation period. The clinical form of mastitis is characterized by abnormalities in milk and mammary gland tissue alteration or systemic symptoms consequently causing minor diagnostic difficulties. However, to identify ewes with subclinical mastitis, laboratory diagnostics is crucial. Mastitis control is primarily dependent on determining somatic cell count (SCC) and the California Mastitis Test (CMT), which aim to detect the quantity of cells in the milk sample. The other useful diagnostic tool is microbial culture, which complements SCC and CMT. However, all mentioned diagnostic methods have their limitations and therefore novel biomarkers of ovine subclinical mastitis are highly desired. These sensitive indicators include acute-phase proteins, miRNA, and cathelicidins measurements, which could be determined in ovine serum and/or milk and in the future may become useful in early mastitis diagnostics as well as a preventive tool. This may contribute to increased detection of ovine mammary gland inflammation in sheep, especially in subclinical form, and consequently improves milk quality and quantity. Full article
13 pages, 822 KiB  
Article
Mortality of Dairy Sheep during the Peri-Parturient Period: Results of a Field Investigation in Greece
by Antonis P. Politis, Natalia G. C. Vasileiou, Peter J. Cripps, Dimitra V. Liagka, Petros T. Boufis, Irene Valasi, Vasia S. Mavrogianni and George C. Fthenakis
Animals 2021, 11(8), 2172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082172 - 22 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2229
Abstract
Objectives of the study were (a) to investigate the incidence risk of peri-parturient mortality in dairy flocks in Greece, (b) to study when such mortality occurs in relation to lambing, (c) to identify clinical problems associated with the deaths, and (d) to evaluate [...] Read more.
Objectives of the study were (a) to investigate the incidence risk of peri-parturient mortality in dairy flocks in Greece, (b) to study when such mortality occurs in relation to lambing, (c) to identify clinical problems associated with the deaths, and (d) to evaluate potentially associated factors. The deaths of ewes during the peri-parturient period (10 days before to 7 days after lambing) were monitored in 60 flocks over two years. In the ewes that died, detailed post-mortems were performed. The incidence risk of peri-parturient deaths was 0.7%. The daily incidence rate of deaths before, at, and after lambing was 0.05, 0.04, and 0.03%, respectively. Clinical problems most frequently associated with peri-parturient deaths were pregnancy toxaemia, ruminal acidosis and post-partum genital problems. For the occurrence of peri-parturient deaths in flocks, the average lambing rate in the flocks was the only significant factor. Regarding deaths before or after lambing, the season during which lambing took place and the number of animals in the flock, respectively, were found to be significant. Most ewes (54.5%) that died at lambing (dystocia) were primigravidae. Full article
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11 pages, 1060 KiB  
Article
Epidemiological Study Related to the First Outbreak of Ovine Anaplasmosis in Spain
by Delia Lacasta, Miguel Lorenzo, José María González, Marta Ruiz de Arcaute, Alfredo Ángel Benito, Cristina Baselga, María Eugenia Milian, Nuria Lorenzo, Calasanz Jiménez, Sergio Villanueva-Saz and Luis Miguel Ferrer
Animals 2021, 11(7), 2036; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11072036 - 8 Jul 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3516
Abstract
Ovine anaplasmosis is a vector-borne disease caused by Anaplasma ovis and mainly transmitted through tick bites. In Spain, the first outbreak of ovine anaplasmosis occurred in 2014. An epidemiological study in fifty-one farms was carried out associated with this outbreak in the affected [...] Read more.
Ovine anaplasmosis is a vector-borne disease caused by Anaplasma ovis and mainly transmitted through tick bites. In Spain, the first outbreak of ovine anaplasmosis occurred in 2014. An epidemiological study in fifty-one farms was carried out associated with this outbreak in the affected geographical area. An epidemiological questionnaire was performed. In addition, whole blood samples were taken for molecular analysis in 47 of these farms to determine the prevalence of infection of Anaplasma ovis. A. ovis was present in 44 out of 47 PCR-analysed farms (93.6%). However, only 40.4% of the studied farms showed severe clinical signs. The clinical signs affected mainly young animals, which showed severe anaemia, weakness, anorexia, cachexia and epiphora. The early culling of young animals was more frequently reported by severely affected farms than the analysed farms without clinical signs (71.4% vs. 12.5%, p < 0.001). The geographical area where the farm is located seems to be relevant for the presence of clinical signs of the disease. Ovine anaplasmosis is an emerging disease in Europe that spreads rapidly through tick bites and is capable of causing significant economic losses when it spreads in a naive area and causes an epidemic. Full article
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11 pages, 463 KiB  
Article
Flock Management Risk Factors Associated with Q Fever Infection in Sheep in Saudi Arabia
by Ibrahim Elsohaby, Ahmed Elmoslemany, Mohamed El-Sharnouby, Mohamed Alkafafy, Mohammed Alorabi, Wael M. El-Deeb, Theeb Al-Marri, Ibrahim Qasim, Fanan A. Alaql and Mahmoud Fayez
Animals 2021, 11(7), 1948; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071948 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4040
Abstract
Q fever is a zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii (C. burnetii), an intracellular, Gram-negative bacterium that infects humans and domestic ruminants. Information on flock management factors associated with Q fever seropositivity in Saudi Arabia is very scarce. Therefore, the objective [...] Read more.
Q fever is a zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii (C. burnetii), an intracellular, Gram-negative bacterium that infects humans and domestic ruminants. Information on flock management factors associated with Q fever seropositivity in Saudi Arabia is very scarce. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify the animal and flock management factors associated with Q fever seropositivity. For the assessment of risk factors, a case-control study was carried out. Cases (n = 25) were flocks that had recent abortions within the previous two weeks and were PCR positive for C. burnetii. Control flocks (n = 25) had no history of recent abortion and were PCR negative for C. burnetii. A questionnaire was developed to collect information about the flock management risk factors possibly associated with Q fever exposure in sheep. A total of 2437 sheep serum samples, collected from infected (n = 1610, 10–150 samples/flock) and non-infected (n = 827, 10–65 samples/flock) flocks, were tested for C. burnetii antibodies using a commercial ELISA kit between May 2018 and April 2019. In addition, 521 samples, including 50 aborted materials, 173 vaginal swabs, 134 faecal, and 164 milk samples, were collected for PCR testing. Infected flocks were 100% seropositive (within-flock seroprevalence ranging between 13.8% and 60%) and 100% PCR positive (with animal shedders of C. burnetii through aborted materials and/or vaginal fluids, feces, and milk). However, in non-infected control flocks, 28% were seropositive (within-flock seroprevalence ranging between 6.7% and 20%) and none had C. burnetii shedders. Epidemiological data were analyzed using mixed-effect logistic regression with a random effect for the flock. The results identified three protective factors: flocks with a lambing pen (odds ratio (OR): 0.46; 95% CI: 0.28–0.76), change bedding after removing aborted materials (OR: 0.42; 95% CI: 0.23–0.76), and flocks that isolated aborted ewes (OR: 0.41; 95% CI: 0.25–0.67), as well as two risk factors: flocks infested with ticks (OR: 2.78; 95% CI: 1.65–4.70) and flocks with a history of Q fever (OR: 3.03; 95% CI: 1.42–6.50). These results could be used to improve sheep flock biosecurity measures to prevent the introduction and reduce exposure of sheep and humans to Q fever infection. Full article
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14 pages, 913 KiB  
Communication
A Case of Concurrent Molybdenosis, Secondary Copper, Cobalt and Selenium Deficiency in a Small Sheep Herd in Northern Germany
by Carina Helmer, Regina Hannemann, Esther Humann-Ziehank, Sven Kleinschmidt, Mareike Koelln, Josef Kamphues and Martin Ganter
Animals 2021, 11(7), 1864; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071864 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3305
Abstract
To the author’s knowledge this paper describes the first proven report of a combined primary molybdenosis, secondary copper (Cu) deficiency, Ovine White Liver Disease—Cobalt (Co) deficiency, and selenium (Se) deficiency in a small pedigree herd of White Horned Heath sheep in Germany (8 [...] Read more.
To the author’s knowledge this paper describes the first proven report of a combined primary molybdenosis, secondary copper (Cu) deficiency, Ovine White Liver Disease—Cobalt (Co) deficiency, and selenium (Se) deficiency in a small pedigree herd of White Horned Heath sheep in Germany (8 ewes, 2 rams, 3 yearling ewes, 17 lambs) for decades. Clinical signs associated with these mineral deficiencies in a group of pastured ram lambs included emaciation, conjunctivitis, anaemia, growth retardation, discolouration of the wool and photodermatitis. Morbidities and mortalities arose in 4–6-month-old lambs despite intensive veterinary treatment in the summer of 2014 and 2015 (n = 13, 23% died). Se (3/5), Cu (4/7), and Co (3/3) deficiencies in combination with elevated values for Molybdenum (Mo, 2/2) were found. Hamburg is a large industrial city and an input of heavy metals from surrounding industries and coal-fired power stations in combination with a sandy, non-fertilised soil and monoculture grass species might offer a potential explanation for the severity of mineral deficiencies observed in this herd. Full article
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11 pages, 460 KiB  
Article
Milk Fatty Acids Composition Changes According to β-Hydroxybutyrate Concentrations in Ewes during Early Lactation
by Enrico Fiore, Anastasia Lisuzzo, Rossella Tessari, Nicoletta Spissu, Livia Moscati, Massimo Morgante, Matteo Gianesella, Tamara Badon, Elisa Mazzotta, Michele Berlanda, Barbara Contiero and Filippo Fiore
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1371; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051371 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2387
Abstract
Ketosis is a metabolic disease of pregnant and lactating ewes linked to a negative energy balance which can cause different economic losses. The aims of this study were to understand the metabolic status of the early-lactating ewes and to identify biomarkers for early [...] Read more.
Ketosis is a metabolic disease of pregnant and lactating ewes linked to a negative energy balance which can cause different economic losses. The aims of this study were to understand the metabolic status of the early-lactating ewes and to identify biomarkers for early diagnosis of subclinical ketosis. Forty-six Sarda ewes were selected in the immediate post-partum for the collection of the biological samples. A blood sample from the jugular vein was used to determine β-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations. Animals were divided into two groups: BHB 0 or healthy group (n = 28) with BHB concentration < 0.86 mmol/L; and BHB 1 or subclinical ketosis (n = 18) with a BHB concentration ≥ 0.86 mmol/L. Ten mL of pool milk were collected at the morning milking for the analyses. The concentration of 34 milk fatty acids was evaluated using gas chromatography. Two biochemical parameters and 11 milk fatty acids of the total lipid fraction presented a p-value ≤ 0.05. The study revealed different relationships with tricarboxylic acid cycle, blood flows, immune and nervous systems, cell functions, inflammatory response, and oxidative stress status. Eight parameters were significant for the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis with an area under the curve greater than 0.70. Full article
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17 pages, 4819 KiB  
Article
Tick Infestation and Piroplasm Infection in Barbarine and Queue Fine de l’Ouest Autochthonous Sheep Breeds in Tunisia, North Africa
by Médiha Khamassi Khbou, Mariem Rouatbi, Rihab Romdhane, Limam Sassi, Mohamed Jdidi, Aynalem Haile, Mourad Rekik and Mohamed Gharbi
Animals 2021, 11(3), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030839 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3049
Abstract
As ticks and tick-borne pathogens affect the productivity of livestock, searching for genetically resistant breeds to infestation by ticks may represent an alternative to the overuse of chemical drugs. The aim of this study was to assess if there is a difference in [...] Read more.
As ticks and tick-borne pathogens affect the productivity of livestock, searching for genetically resistant breeds to infestation by ticks may represent an alternative to the overuse of chemical drugs. The aim of this study was to assess if there is a difference in tick infestation among the main sheep breeds in Tunisia. The study was carried out between April 2018 and January 2020 in 17 small to middle-sized sheep flocks from 3 regions across Tunisia. Four hundred and thirty-nine ear-tagged ewes from Barbarine (n = 288, 65.6%) and Queue Fine de l’Ouest (QFO) (n = 151, 34.4%) breeds were examined and sampled each trimester. Ticks were identified to the species level, and piroplasms were detected using PCR that targets a common sequence ARNr18S to both Babesia and Theileria genera using catch-all primers. Totally, 707 adult ticks were collected from animals; 91.4% (646/707) of them were Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l. Queue Fine de l’Ouest animals were markedly less infested by ticks, and no one of them was infected by piroplasms compared to the Barbarine breed. Indeed, during the first four seasons, 21 animals, all from the Barbarine breed, were detected positive for piroplasms. This is the first study in Tunisia about the low susceptibility of QFO ewes to infestation by ticks and to infection by piroplasms. The QFO sheep breed could be raised preferably at high-risk areas of tick occurrence and could be considered in concrete control strategies, including a breeding program. Full article
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9 pages, 264 KiB  
Article
Seroconversion to Brucella spp. and Toxoplasma gondii in Sheep and Goats in Dohuk Province, Iraq and Its Association with Pregnancy Loss
by Ali Al Hamada, Ihab Habib, Mieghan Bruce, Anne Barnes and Ian D. Robertson
Animals 2021, 11(3), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030836 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2233
Abstract
In this study, sera from 240 small ruminants (192 sheep and 48 goats) belonging to 12 farms in Dohuk Province, northern Iraq, were collected on two occasions to investigate the incidence risk of seroconversion to Brucella spp. and Toxoplasma gondii. All selected [...] Read more.
In this study, sera from 240 small ruminants (192 sheep and 48 goats) belonging to 12 farms in Dohuk Province, northern Iraq, were collected on two occasions to investigate the incidence risk of seroconversion to Brucella spp. and Toxoplasma gondii. All selected animals were confirmed pregnant (approximately 2 months pregnant) by ultrasound examination at the time of the first blood collection. A second ultrasound examination and blood sampling were undertaken two months after the initial scanning/sampling. Antibodies to Brucella were tested using the Rose Bengal Test (RBT) and an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA), and the results were interpreted in series. The Latex Agglutination Test (LAT) and an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) were also used in series to confirm the presence of antibodies to T. gondii. The seroprevalence for Brucella and Toxoplasma increased significantly between the two sampling times (p = 0.0003 and 0.03 in first and second sampling, respectively). The incidence risk of seroconversion to Brucella over the two months was 10.6% (95% CI: 6.9–15.3) and 7.3% (95% CI: 4.3–11.6) for Toxoplasma. Animals that seroconverted to Brucella were 2.9 times more likely to lose their pregnancy (95% CI: 1.6–5.5) than animals that remained seronegative; however, seroconversion to Toxoplasma had no significant impact on loss of pregnancy. This study is the first reported investigation on the association of seroconversion to Brucella and Toxoplasma with the reproductive outcome of pregnant sheep and goats in northern Iraq. Brucellosis and toxoplasmosis continue to negatively impact small ruminants’ reproductive performance and compromising food security in Iraq. It is hoped that this study will assist the development of a better-informed economic model to estimate Brucella and Toxoplasma burden in small animals in northern Iraq, and such a model could be used to validate the impact of various potential intervention programs in. Full article
28 pages, 3138 KiB  
Article
Haemonchosis: A Challenging Parasitic Infection of Sheep and Goats
by Konstantinos V. Arsenopoulos, George C. Fthenakis, Eleni I. Katsarou and Elias Papadopoulos
Animals 2021, 11(2), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020363 - 1 Feb 2021
Cited by 54 | Viewed by 11356
Abstract
The paper reviews the challenges about haemonchosis—a significant and common parasitic infection of small ruminants. Haemonchus contortus is a highly pathogenic parasite that localises in the abomasum of affected animals and exerts its pathogenicity by blood-sucking activity, adversely affecting the health and productivity [...] Read more.
The paper reviews the challenges about haemonchosis—a significant and common parasitic infection of small ruminants. Haemonchus contortus is a highly pathogenic parasite that localises in the abomasum of affected animals and exerts its pathogenicity by blood-sucking activity, adversely affecting the health and productivity of animals. The first challenge is the uneven distribution of the infection globally, this being more prevalent in tropical and subtropical and warm temperate and summer rainfall regions than in cool and cold temperate and arid regions; hence, this leads in differences in the approaches required for its control. Another challenge is the widespread presence of Haemonchus strains resistant to the various anthelmintics available: Benzimidazoles, imidazothiazoles, macrocyclic lactones, closantel and monepantel, which makes the control of the infection difficult. The third challenge refers to the difficulty of diagnosing the disease, given that field evidence can provide suspicion about the infection, which needs to be subsequently confirmed by laboratory tests through parasitological or molecular techniques. The final challenge relates to the difficulties in the control of the infection and the necessity to use pharmaceutical products cautiously and with a planned approach, to avoid further development of anthelmintic resistance, also given that use of a recently licenced vaccine is not widespread. In conclusion, at the moment, we should be concerned, but not worried, about this infection, and apply correctly the appropriate health management plans. Full article
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2020

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14 pages, 3413 KiB  
Article
Unveiling the Immunomodulatory Characteristics of Haemonchus contortus Ephrin Domain Containing Protein in the Parasite–Host Interactions
by Kalibixiati Aimulajiang, Zhaohai Wen, Xiaowei Tian, Shakeel Ahmed Lakho, Yang Zhang, Muhammad Ali-ul-Husnain Naqvi, Meng Liang, Xiaokai Song, Lixin Xu, Xiangrui Li and Ruofeng Yan
Animals 2020, 10(11), 2137; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112137 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1926
Abstract
Ephrin domain containing protein (EPH), a significant excreted and secreted product (ESPs) of Haemonchus contortus, has been identified to have antigenic functions. Over the past years, a new subset of CD4 + T named as T helper 9 cells that secrete interleukin-9 [...] Read more.
Ephrin domain containing protein (EPH), a significant excreted and secreted product (ESPs) of Haemonchus contortus, has been identified to have antigenic functions. Over the past years, a new subset of CD4 + T named as T helper 9 cells that secrete interleukin-9 (IL-9) as a signature cytokine is associated with tumor immunity and allergy. Nonetheless, the understanding of immunomodulatory roles of EPH on goat Th9 and other immune cells remains limited. Herein, EPH from H. contortus (HcEPH) was cloned and expressed in pET-28a. Immunofluorescence assay (IFA) was carried-out to localize rHcEPH within H. contortus adult worms and to bind with goat peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Besides, the impact of rHcEPH on signature cytokine IL-9 expression in goat PBMCs was evaluated. Flow cytometry was employed to examine Th9 cells production and cell apoptosis. The results revealed success in the expression and localization of rHcEPH in surface of adult H. contortus gut sections. According to IFA analysis, the rHcEPH protein was capable to react precisely with anti-H. contortus antibodies. Further functional analysis showed that correlation between rHcEPH and host PBMCs significantly enhanced Th9 cell differentiation, IL-9 expression, cell apoptosis efficiency, and cell migration, whereas cell proliferation was suppressed significantly depending on the concentration. Our observations indicated that rHcEPH protein is linked to modulate the host immune cells and could enhance protective immunity by inducing Th9 responses. Full article
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15 pages, 1115 KiB  
Article
A Detailed Questionnaire for the Evaluation of Health Management in Dairy Sheep and Goats
by Daphne T. Lianou, Ioanna P. Chatziprodromidou, Natalia G. C. Vasileiou, Charalambia K. Michael, Vasia S. Mavrogianni, Antonis P. Politis, Nikos G. Kordalis, Charalambos Billinis, Alexios Giannakopoulos, Elias Papadopoulos, Ilias Giannenas, Katerina S. Ioannidi, Angeliki I. Katsafadou, Dimitris A. Gougoulis, Delia Lacasta, Mariangela Caroprese and George C. Fthenakis
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1489; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091489 - 24 Aug 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 6925
Abstract
The objective of this work was to develop, use and present a detailed questionnaire for the evaluation of health management in dairy small ruminants; it includes 442 questions organised in seven sections: general, infrastructure, animals, production characteristics, health management, nutrition, human resources. Consistency [...] Read more.
The objective of this work was to develop, use and present a detailed questionnaire for the evaluation of health management in dairy small ruminants; it includes 442 questions organised in seven sections: general, infrastructure, animals, production characteristics, health management, nutrition, human resources. Consistency of replies was evaluated in 27 farmers, interviewed twice. Inconsistent replies were given by all farmers to 30 different questions (Cronbach’s coefficient alpha: 0.987). Then, interviews were performed in 444 farms around Greece. Mean duration of an interview was 63.6 min. Clarifications were requested by 273 farmers to 22 different questions (maximum per farmer: 8). The experience of the investigator, the primary language of farmers and asking clarifications by the farmers affected the duration of the interview. The questionnaire can be used for research work in the field, to record details in the farms under study. In accord with the needs of a particular study, it can be modified, by adding more specific questions or omitting others deemed of less importance. Moreover, it can also be used for routine monitoring purposes, as a useful means to record and maintain details of farms during clinical work. To the best of our knowledge, the questionnaire is the most extensive and detailed one available internationally for dairy small ruminants. Full article
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